You cannot gift bison socks to your mailman, and why and there are Reese's peanut butter cup cookies in the oven.

This is absolutely a true fact. You cannot give the person who delivers your mail, your packages, does the whole, sleet, snow, dark of night, herd of ninjas thing to get your ValPak and Christmas cards to you a simple pair of warm and comfy socks.  
TL:DR  TIL Postal workers are not allowed to accept gifts over $20, but I believe they deserve better.  How we intend to take care of the people who take care of us.
Your local postal worker isn't allowed to receive gifts from residential patrons other than gift certificates of less than $20, fruit, vegetables, or baked goods. How do I know this, I tried to give our mailman a pair of socks yesterday. 
This is a long story, and I hope to convey it properly, but to be fully transparent, its late (well, after 9:00pm) and I have been up working since around 5 am and I might have had a glass of bourbon. I believe it is a good story, worth the 9 minutes it will take to read, it has a message and moral etc, and in the end, good triumphs over evil, so that in itself is a positive thing, but it is long.. 
I have been getting very familiar with our local U.S. Post Office, from Elisha and Bonnie in the back and the supervisor Cheryl, they have all been very helpful and accommodating with our ever increasing shipping loads. While this isn't a major metropolis massive Postal Distribution center, this isn't a small post office, our town is over 150k residents in the district and a fair bit of manufacturing and fabricating businesses who ship a fair bit. There are probably 500 retail business in town many of which have an online presence some of them quite large and all of those have scheduled commercial pickups.
There are also quite a few of us small mail order businesses who lug their stuff into the front door, wait in line at the blue door after ringing the buzzer, and dumping our bags of packages into big orange "Pumpkins".   This is what I or T, we sometimes flip a coin as to who goes... or whoever has errands to run in town,, there are a surprising number of trips to the feed store, the bank, and Home Depot. Some days it takes both of us. Usually 5 bags of packages is a one person job, and when it's much more than that, we both go. When I say bags, we use 55 gallon clear trash bags to haul product to the post office. I hate wasting the plastic, but we typically reuse them 4-6 times, maybe more, and occasionally we have to leave them there.. So the big duffles aren't really a good option, and maybe it's time we get some big industrial carts.. but I digress.  
It is a daily chore... one of us has to quit what we were doing, and load up the van, drive to the post office, unload, ad infinitum.  
So, we have been working with them to try and get an afternoon pickup... we really try and get most orders out the same day as they are placed. Amazon has set the bar really high as far as delivery.. and while we are not and will never be a meglomanical monster company that gets unfair postal concessions and radically reduced rates that have driven the "Free Shipping" craze, where everyone has to hide costs in the price of their products.. and, I digress again. 
Back to the post office, they are short staffed, they are overworked, they are doing a damn fine job of getting our packages from BFE Texas to Unakleet Alaska on a regular basis.... but, they don't have the extra manpower to drive 12 miles out of town to accommodate our afternoon pickup. Well, that isn't completely true.. They did made accommodation, in the form of having our usual rural carrier add a return stop to pick up from us in his little mail van, after his regular route....  a move that would cost the guy an extra hour a day. 
Now {name redacted} our carrier is a great guy, conscientious, punctual, communicative and just nice.. one thing I highly recommend is getting to know your postal carrier, they work hard, they get paid reasonably decently, but they have a lot of responsibility and the room for error in mail is high. A good carrier can look out for you and make things so much easier. We had an awesome postal office in our old town, knew everyone and have fewer issues both with receiving mail and our shipping.  I knew that it really wasn't a good option to require {Name Redacted} to have to drive back from Willow Park, just to save me a trip to town.  We have however done a little juggling, and he will be picking up a bag or three in the mornings, so we will start shipping earlier each day and keep packing orders after our 3pm cutoff, so we won't have to haul as much in.  Last December, we had one day, we had 12 bags of mail... filled 6 of the giant pumpkins. I am not complaining, we are truly blessed that so many people see fit to give our stuff as gifts. That is one of the highest compliments a maker could get. 
Well, Fark, the cookies aren't going to bake themselves... and I haven't even gotten to the part about Mailmen not being able to receive socks as gifts, but I will get there. I will also figure out how to format pictures into this.. they are acting wonky, so I removed them all.  I probably won't get back to finish this tonight, it's late, im old. There is always tomorrow. 

7 comments


  • Y

    I am a mail carrier in Alaska. Disregard the limit like most of my customers….your mail man would appreciate the gift! Mail carriers do not report the gifts they receive.


  • Sue Fisher

    Enjoyed reading your comments on the postal service in your area. We happen to have an absolutely fantastic female postal carrier on our route who goes out of her way to bring packages down our driveway. I was planning on giving her a nice big Christmas check, but wasn’t aware of any limits on what they can receive. How did you find this information?


  • Leon Pantenburg

    Give the mailman one sock at a time. Individually, they are less than $20 each.


  • Lisa Molina

    Aloha and thank you for thinking off your mail carrier. I’m a retired rural letter carrier not even a year now, and most people have no idea what the carrier does, so it’s so great to hear your story. It’s a great job and I did love it but when Amazon came it changed everything. I’m here in Hawaii which the weather is always beautiful with a few rainy days in between. I can even imagine doing delivery in the snow!! So thank you for acknowledging the postal service and the mail carrier. It is a huge task to get everything in and out of these offices. I love it!! Be well.


  • George Casmir Chan

    I have an idea. You can mark down the prices for USPS workers only for say ONE DAY only at a certain date on your website for $19.95 a pair (or create a special page, then inform them to order on that date with a Discount Code that makes the socks free to purchase! :)


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